Social Connection and Healthiness

Topics: Sociology, Japan, Human Pages: 3 (1131 words) Published: March 14, 2013
Social Connection and Healthiness

Dr. Leonard Syme, an expert in medical and public health area, is anxious about the increasing number of Americans who live alone, because he believes that loneliness damages people’s health. He supports his theory by using various scientific studies, and concluded that those who live alone and lack social networks have a much higher mortality rate than those who are well connected. He also compared the heart disease rates among Japanese immigrants. It turned out that those who adopt American life style, which advocates individualism, have 5 times higher rate of suffering from heart disease than those who keep living the traditional Japanese way, which favorably values family bonds. Syme concluded that social ties buffer people from the effects of disease risk factors. Therefore, he strongly recommends people to get actively involved in social connections and stay put in their native places, in order to improve their health conditions. I strongly agree with Syme’s theory because human beings are social animals and we need the support from our companions.

The loss of companions could bring severe negative impacts on health because one’s self-value is usually determined by social recognition. When a person gets into trouble but has no one to turn to, they will suffer from the feeling of helplessness and depression; when a person achieves progress but has no one to share with, they probably will not feel cheered. Psychological studies have proved that when people are feeling depressed or sad, their brains suffer from deficient release of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical factor that brings the feeling of happiness, and a long-term low level of serotonin will damage the coordination of other organs and physical balance. When people are in tight social connections, they can get comfort and congratulations from the surrounding world, thus ensuring the normal level of serotonin. Therefore, well-connected people are usually much...
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